Top critical review
Some rare plums in far too much pudding
on 20 February 2015
There are some great ideas and insights buried in this overlong, rambling tome, e.g. that in some successful stories the biggest character is ‘mentor antagonist’ to a paler ‘protagonist’, and that there are successful alternatives to the standard single protagonist 3-act structure that can be analysed and used as templates. Where the book falls down is in trying, unsuccessfully, to be a practical writing guide. Without all the ‘development strategy’ repetition and padding it could have been a wonderful little ideas book. Great plums, but far, far too much pudding. Her occasional references to novel writing were oddly naive: she seems to think none of the storytelling rules apply in novels. Oh they do, they do, which is why this novelist reads screenwriting books about storytelling.